Designing the patient journal

Health Design Challenge is a great example of the very different solutions people come up with when you present them all with the same problem.

In general, I like how many of the proposed solutions are trying to make it more clear for the patient what their tests indicate (if they’re in the normal, borderline or high range), the presentations are mostly nicely laid out, and there’s a lot of thoughts going into how it looks when printed.

A common problem with the solutions, however, is that the data is spanning many, many pages and probably aren’t too easily scannable for the medical personnel. That would probably be the primary task; making it very easy to understand in a critical situation for the doctors and nurses who are about to treat a patient. Everything else is secondary—which is not to say it isn’t important. I’d just rather that the ER personnel can read my journal, rather than I have something pretty to look at.

That being said, here’s some of the presentations I think you should have a look at:

  • Studio TACK’s presentation is very nice.
  • PIIM Research’s focus on the printed version is great, and the easily readable graphs on where the patient’s results are on the “Poor – Borderline – Good” scale is my favorite. I can quickly see where I am, where I was last time and where I should be. The illustrated pills and the iconography for their side effects is a nice touch too.
  • Mathew Sanders’ could be a little more condensed, and I’d reverse the chronological order in the “Yesterday”-section, starting with Today and moving back in time, but in general it’s a really nice submission piece.
  • HealthEd Innovation’s solution looks at the problem from a gamification angle (I know, I know—the word gives me the shivers, but it is what it is).
  • Involution Studios’ example of the folded print version is nice—so is Method’s.
  • healthcentral’s “Print slideshow” solution for excercises
  • Mad*Pow’s tabs on the right side of the pages could be useful.
  • Simple, black and white by Daniel Mall. (I’d sort the Lab Results examples so “High Risk” is always to the same side, regardless of numbers. Easier to read.)

A few problematic examples:

  • Life in Your Years. 1) Why discard all the data given in the example record and create a fictional patient? 2) What happens when you print this out on a monochrome printer?
  • eHealthMonitor. What do I do here? (Click and click and click.)

If you want to have a go yourself, all the data is on GitHub.


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